Pakistan lodges protest with India over cross-border shelling on civilians

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Pakistan on Friday summoned India's High Commissioner here even as it condemned the alleged firing by Indian forces across the Line of Control, in which six Pakistani civilians were killed. "Border Security Force (BSF) troops retaliated effectively", police sources had said.

Quoting the army's Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) statement, the newspaper report said that four people were killed by firing and mortar shelling in the village of Bini Sulariyan in the Charwah sector. Gen. Sahir Shamshad Mirza, over the telephonic hotline Friday that Indian troops don't target civilians and any firing across the border was only in response to Pakistan's violation of the ceasefire and attempts to push armed infiltrators into India.

It is pertinent to note that despite calls for restraint, India continues to indulge in ceasefire violations. They hold talks whenever either side understands the need to iron out differences or raise concerns over issues along the global border of the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir. Till August 1, there have been 285 such actions by the Pakistan army, while in 2016, the number was significantly less at 228 for the entire year, according to figures by the Indian Army.

According to the ISPR, the army conveyed its "unflinching resolve to ensure security of its population" to the Indian DGMO, it reported. It was also emphasised that no targeted firing on civilians was carried out by own troops. "Instead of working with sense of goal to address issues, Pakistan resorts to shortsighted tactics of diverting attention", he noted.

The violation clearly undermines all existing understandings on the issue, said the Pakistan Army's media cell.

Infiltration and ceasefire violations have spiked in the recent weeks.

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